BIRAC-News Descriptioin

Workshop on “Multi sectorial interventions in the context of maternal and child health, with reference to the identified priorities of RFA (All Children Thriving)” 13 – 20th November, 2014

Background: On June 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) signed an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on mission-directed research. The partnership is being implemented through the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Company incorporated by the Government of India.  The Grand Challenges India initiative was launched on 20th March 2013, to support innovations in vaccines, drugs, agricultural products, and interventions related to malnutrition, family and child health.

GCI Workshop Report

Questions from Interactive Session

Press Releases :

(a) Click here to view Press Release for Workshop (Hyderabad)

(b) Click here to view Press Release for Workshop (Lucknow)

(c) Click here to view Press Release for Workshop (Bhubaneshwar)

(d) Click here to view Press Release for Workshop (Pune)

(e) Click here to view Press Release for Workshop (Mumbai)


Key principles governing the Grand Challenges initiative:

  1. Strategic and well-articulated grand challenges serve focused research efforts and capture the imagination by engaging the world’s best researchers.
  2. Projects are selected based on national and societal needs, following transparent calls for proposals seeking the best ideas.
  3. Funders, investigators and other stakeholders actively collaborate to accelerate progress and integrate advances to ensure that these advanced technologies reach the masses in developing countries.
  4. Projects are selected not only for scientific excellence, but also for their likelihood to achieve the desired impact — they are milestone-driven and actively managed to that end.
  5. Projects and investigators follow global access commitments to ensure that the fruits of their research are available to those most in need.


Grand Challenges India:

  • In 2013 — its first year inception — Grand Challenges India rolled out two successful initiatives namely, ‘Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture & Nutrition’ and ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’.
  • In October 2014, DBT-BMGF-BIRAC launched the third call — ‘All Children Thriving’. Undertaken in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the program aims to ensure that all children not only survive, but also remain on the trajectory of healthy and productive lives.


All Children Thriving initiative: The ultimate goal of this challenge is to determine what package of interventions should be delivered to which group of individuals, at what point in their life cycle to reduce the burden of foetal growth impairment and preterm birth, stunted postnatal growth, and impaired cognitive development. Therefore, through this call we aim to determine:

  • The most effective combinations of interventions for prevention and treatment of unhealthy birth, growth and development from any sector (health, agriculture, education etc.)
  • How these interventions can be effectively and practically integrated into a continuum of care that encompasses various stages in a child’s development i.e., preconception, conception to birth, birth to two years of age, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.


Purpose & Expected Outcome of the Workshop:

Purpose of the workshop:

  • Share information and raise awareness about the present call – ‘All Children Thriving’.
  • Provide an overview of the Request For Application (RFA) for the current call.
  • Highlight the eligibility criteria for applicants and explain the selection and evaluation process by walking participants through the detailed application process.
  • Conduct a panel discussion on multi-sectorial interventions in the context of Maternal & Child Health, with reference to the identified priorities of the RFA in India and other developing countries to aid prospective applicants in effectively articulating their Letter of Intent.

Outcome at the end of the workshop:

  • Participants should be well informed about the RFA, type of interventions being sought and the application process.

Eligible participants:

  • Individuals – Agriculturist, nutritionist, agronomist, biotechnologist, clinicians, pediatrician, dieticians, ethnographers, biochemist, microbiologist, market analyst etc.
  • Organizations – Academic Institutions, research institutions, medical research institutions, for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, trusts and foundations.


  • Registration
  • Welcome note and overview on partnership (DBT, BIRAC & BMGF)
  • ‘All Children Thriving’ – Overview on the RFA
  • Application Process
  • Panel Discussion on multi-sectorial interventions in the context of Maternal & Child Health,  with reference to the identified priorities of the RFA (‘All Children Thriving’), followed by an interactive session including a talk by a past grantee

Workshop Dates

City Name

13th November, 2014


14th November, 2014


18th November, 2014


19th November, 2014


20th November, 2014